OSE Apprenticeship

Download Apprenticeship Flyer

July 1 – December 22, 2021

Factor e Farm, Kansas City, USA

OSE’s first ever apprenticeship with 6 months of immersion study in collaborative design-builds and enterprise. But not just for anyone – it’s for open source movement entrepreneurs – people aspiring to provide regenerative solutions at scale using open source collaboration. Sounds too big? You can start small, as long as you have a passion for open source collaboration. If you want to change the world and do so for a living, this is your chance.

Build Yourself. Build Your World.

The OSE Apprenticeship is an immersion learning experience for entrepreneurial individuals interested in working with OSE full time. We are building around a revenue model for the Seed Eco-Home 2 – where Apprentices learn to build the complete home from start to finish. At the same time, we will develop continuing improvements of build techniques, of other machine designs, and of global collaboration techniques. Out of the program, Apprentices have an opportunity to either work for OSE or to become business owners – building Seed Eco-Homes, building and developing other machines, and organizizg collaborative development events. Related machines include the CEB Press, tractor, 3D printer, industrial-grade sawmill, and others. This means that apprentices learn a wide array of skills from design to build to welding to enterprise and much more. The intended outcome is the ability for all Apprentices to collaborate with OSE full time to continue this ground-breaking work, completing the Global Village Construction Set by 2028 – to the point that a completely open source toolset for building civilization becomes available to the world. We have facilities and infrastructure on site which graduating Apprentices will have access to upon completion of the program – and we can set up various types of working relationships. We will be developing innovative, distributed enterprise models throughout the program – based on apprentice interest and skill.

How It Works

The OSE Apprenticeship is a unique experience designed to enable Apprentices to work with OSE full time after completion of the program. The basic way that this works is:

  1. Design/Build/Enterprise Training. The 6 months is an intensive immersion in all aspects of OSE’s civilization construction work. We cover theory, principles, and practice towards individuals becoming highly capable, responsible, and productive as a basis for thriving. We work on cultivating a growth mindset for breaking through self-imposed limitations – largely by the practice of collaborative problem-solving and physical builds. In our experience, we found that building tangible things has a powerful effect on extending one’s index of possibilities – and produces a fundamental psychological shift towards an attitude of possibility where no problem remains too large to solve. Part of the secret sauce is learning to collaborate openly with others – as without a collaborative mindset – problems are indeed too large to solve. The specific aim of OSE is solving pressing world issues – by providing opportunities where such work is a direct outcome – not something that is a possibly tangential outcome or something that is left for the future. We believe that various pressing world issues need to be solved, and that anyone should have the opportunity to do such work for a living – as opposed to creating more problems via a standard career path. Having found very little opportunity for such work in the world, we decided to create an organization, Open Source Ecology – and this specific apprenticeship – as our most tangible route for getting into important world work – regardless of one’s background or education. Our only requirement is a deep desire to change the world according to best practice and proven techniques – with an open mind to learn new things in order to achieve a radical sense of possiblity and a skill set to turn this possibility into tangible world change. The biggest issue we try to solve for in our education program is to expand one’s index of possibilities to accept that one can work directly on pressing world issues – and that it is within each person’s capacity to create fundamental change. At the cost of dedicated, long term learning.
  2. Full time engagement in OSE work after the Apprenticeship: Hiring and Enterprise. The 6 months of training provides a solid foundation for individuals going through the program to continue to work with OSE while getting paid for this work. In summary – OSE provides the training, including enterprise training – and then assists each Apprentice in setting up their own business. Then, successful graduates can partner with OSE. If enterprise is not an option, OSE can hire graduates. Graduates can also go back to their own communities and continue collaborating with OSE. For parnering with us, OSE can provide enterprise support services and access to its facility, equipment, and enterprise infrastructure at its headquarters (Factor e Farm) on a lease or contract basis: (1), office, classroom, and production space; (2), production machines and workshop space for building both electromechanical devices and heavy machines; (3), access to 25 acres agricultural land, including aquaponic greenhouses; (4) assistance in: incorporating, marketing, lead generation, recruiting, accounting, and publicity; (5), collaboration on organizing events, developing new products, and creating other programming. We prefer muchthat graduates work with an entrepreneurial mindset by setting up their own enterprises to collaborate as partners, and not employees. This gives the most freedom and growth potential to the movement as a whole, and is consistent with creating the open source economy. From OSE’s perspective – that is certainly a flight risk – but we also believe that the people who continue to work with OSE will self-select as the most collaborative and progressive individuals with the largest vision for making a better world. How do we guarantee continuing, coordinated development with partners and not employees? We believe that by providing open access, we will continue to grow our track record as an innovative education organization that changes the world by creating a new culture of open development, functioning like an open source franchise. Our programs provide both education and production, and we have already shown that this is a viable business model. Now is our chance to scale for much larger impact.
  3. Unbridled, open collaboration. All of OSE’s work is dedicated to the benefit of humankind and to making a better world for everybody. All of our enterprise development is open source and published freely on the internet – in order to promote collaboration and make the movement swell. We are all co-developers of the next economy – and we make this uncharted road by walking. All of the above training and enterprise assets are developed openly, collaboratively, and iteratively – and the only way we think the world will change is if everyone has open access and learn to collaborate. We believe that open source hardware and open development are the next trillion dollar economy – where we solve for the last unsolved frontier of economics – the equitable distribution of wealth. If you are asking why it is beneficial to share all of our knowhow – or why one should take our program if we publish everything for free – then you are probably not a good fit. See more about this in the FAQ

To get to the above, here are the elements of the training:

  1. Design. In our program, the day to day is Design Training- where you learn about all types of functional building blocks – like legos – that constitute all known technology. We follow a Construction Set Approach, use modular universal building blocks, and we have identified a Pattern Language for technology. We work with design guides that teach how to take about ~500 technology primitives and make 99% of known human technology with them. Then we follow with a couple of hours practice in creating new designs in FreeCAD based on part libraries and the design training. An essential part of the learning is to navigate and create 3D desing in a powerful open source design tool – FreeCAD.
  2. Builds. In the afternoon, we follow with 4 hours of builds each day – whether house modules, machines, or others. We also learn to weld, torch, 3D print, use hydraulics, program microcontrollers, and use the CNC torch table – among others. On Friday each week – we work on site infrastructure and upgrades – such as a new solar-powered workshop, building more classrooms, aquaponic greenhouse, more microhouses, biodigester for onsite wastewater recycling, access roads – building tools and more machines – doing tree plantings – all using our open source muchequipment that we will either build or have built already. Effectively, you are learning how to build a global village.
  3. Enterprise Seminar. In the evenings, we engage in a working enterprise development seminar at least twice a week – where we collaborate on open source business development – including marketing, and philosophy – using socratic dialogue – and following the paradigm of distributive enterprise. Meaning – we develop enterprise models – and publish them on the internet for free – for anyone to to get involved. We will create things like marketing copy, product websites, brochures, economic analyses, enterprise organizational structures, recruiting strategies, and other assets that help us and the world get set in production. But before that – we always ask the why – why we are doing it – does it really help – does it have purpose – does it give life. The larger idea here is that – economics, which by the way originally means House Keeping – or making a living – should only be a small part of one’s activity- and the majority should focus on our true passions and interests, towards cultural and scientific progress – and the things that make us human. Yet we live in a world quite the opposite – where very few get to follow their dreams and become immortal – and that is a fundamental bug in our operating system – that needs fixing. So we think and act on making life and enterprise easier so we can thrive with amazing modern technology – and pursue our true pursuits – of self-determination.
  4. Remote participation. We welcome remote participants for the design sessions and Enterprise Seminar. The remote option will provide solid proficiency with designing new machines using existing construction set modules or from scratch – given that we will spend at least 200 hours in CAD design throughout the program. Hoever, the missing part is the hands-on builds, doable only on site unless one has their own workshop facility already. For remote participants who have a 3D printer, there could be a lot of prototyping/building tasks that can be done remotely. We have recently installed a 1 gigabit internet pipe, and are wired for up to 4 gigabit service. We are taking this as an opportunity to take our remote offerings to the next level. First, we plan to expand internet coverage through all of our 30 acre facility. Second, we will set up dedicated video stations for reporting from the event at multiple classroom, workshop, and outdoor locations. We have built several solar power stations that will allow us to power up wireless video devices in remote locations of our campus. This way, all of our lectures and build activity will be live streamed or otherwise captured as video and timelapse, with a dedicated collaboration faciliator maintaining connections and facilitating teamwork with remote audiences. Each day consists of lecture, where remote participants can ask questions almost like they were on site. Each day includes 2 hours of design time, during which we collaborate on real design with remote participants – teaching Design Guide style skills that teach how to use existing work to build things with it – and how to modify our modules in continuing development. During the builds – remote participants will have a chance to view build activity from several views, and we will upload video footage nightly with timelapse summaries of each location, so that a remote participant can gain decent insights by reviewing daily footage and analyzing it in detail, as we will be capturing footage and timelapse in full HD and 4K resolution. Further, we will encourage participants to bring their own time lapse and action cameras, so that even more details can be captured – and will encourage daily uploads so they can be shared as a collaborative Google folder.
  5. Everyone builds their own 3D printer for Rapid Prototyping The tuition includes a 3D printer. A lot of the program involves design and prototyping – and with everybody having a printer – we can do so much more. Apprentices build their own 3D printer – which is used extensively throughout the program. Everyone can be involved in testing our 3D printer filament blends. Combined with basic drafting literacy in FreeCAD – we use 3D printers for rapid, iterative prototyping as part of a development process. We can thus go from ideas to builds on the time scale of hours or even minutes, even for functional parts. We print with 1.2 mm nozzles, so we print strong parts 9x faster than standard hobby printers. We will use the 3D printer extensively to prototype working parts as well as scale models that help us understand what we build prior to building the full-size projects. In addition to participant’s 3D printers, we will have an OSE print cluster of 6 printers with 18″ bed, 3 of the 12″ bed, 3 of the 8″ bed, and one dozen of the 6″ bed printers.
  6. Compression of Development Time with Global Collaboration. Becuase we use modularity and design machines for parallel builds with many people working on parts in parallel – prototyping times are reduced from months to days. Combined with global collaboration – this allows us unprecedented development velocity. We will be developing large-scale hackathons and inentive challenge during the Apprenticeship leveraging platforms such as HeroX and Kickstarter – as we create innovative protocols for large-scale collaboration with intent to make open development the norm.

Overview Schedule
Note: the Google Slides document below has 3 pages, scroll through it by clicking on the document or the arrows.

Intended Audience and Outcomes

The primary intended outcome is to enable people to work with Open Source Ecology full time on transforming the economy from proprietary to collaborative. Our target audience is:

  • People who want to learn practical design, build, and enterprise skills and to use these skills to change the world. If you have very little build skill – or if you are quite experienced already – but would like to increase your abilities significantly, this program will provide the most breadth of experience in the shortest time possible. We are looking for motivated and hungry learners. Individuals can enter the program and contribute at different levels – from entry level to advanced – which are just different sides of the same problem. This will be intensive immersion study and work experience. If you just want to get exposed to our work – then we recommend the lighter-duty version of our program – the Summer of Extreme Design Build or any of its sub-parts for a start as a smaller commitment.
  • People interested in unjobbing. We are pursuing mass creation of right livelihood to address the issue of many jobs providing little meaning or purpose. If you do not want to compromise on any account with what you do for a living, then we can help you do this. Specifically – we are in the business of world transformation – not a typical ‘career path.’ You would be signing up for life-work integration that gives you freedom of time, relationship, and money to pursue what the world really needs to transform to the next economy beyond artificial scarcity. We are creating a collaborative environment and facility dedicated to making transformative work possible, by providing the necessary infrastructure to do so at low cost – without compromise on building a powerful infrastructure for making this sustainable and fun.
  • System transformers: people with a growth mindset who want to solve pressing world issues. To us, that means lifelong learning and learning to problem-solve effectively – which pretty much culminates as open source movement entrepreneurship.
  • Inspiration about a possible future. If you would like to develop a more optimistic viewpoint of the state of the world, we are likely to infect you with optimism that comes from one’s ability to build physical things – literally to build your world. If you want to change the world and are looking for direction or inspiration, you’ve come to the right place. Idealogical grounds can also include anyone interested in reinventing the economy through collaborative design and distributed production using open source toolchains. People who enjoy rapid learning of new things will feel at home with us. College students looking for applied, hands-on skills and learning to balance their curriculum will find a breath of fresh air. Teachers who want to expand their classroom to global collaborative design can get a lot of insight on practical ways to do this. Competitive students looking to pad their college applications will also enjoy a simultaneously exploration of a mind-opening experience – but after seeing our work – beware – you will likely not want to go back to school. We certainly are optimistic about the possibility of change – which many ecologically-concerned individuals can find in our program – via inspiration from a creative and practical approach to address economic production and sustainability. Peak performance seekers may be interested in learning about the limits of personal manufacturing and public product development as new paradigms in a global shift. People who believe that cities should produce all that they need may be inspired, as we provide some solutions for getting there.
  • D3D Universal 3D Printer Kit

    As part of the Apprenticeship, each participant will build a D3D Universal 3D Printer for rapid prototyping. Since we will be using the 3D printer as an essential tool in rapid prototyping – everyone will use and maintain their own.


    Marcin Jakubowski – Facilitator at Large

    Marcin was trained as a fusion physicist. He left academia right after finishing his Ph.D. to start a farm – in Missouri – and founded Open Source Ecology. For the last 10 years, he has been working on the Global Village Construction Set – now 1/3 complete – a set of enabling tools and machines for building regenerative infrastructures. Marcin is passionate about creating the Open Source Economy – a new operating system for Earth. Marcin will facilitate the classroom, design review, and Enterprise Track sessions, and will try to stay out of the workshop as he is trying to move up in management.
    See Marcin’s bio and Global Village Construction Set Ted Talk:

    Catarina Mota – Facilitator for Construction

    Catarina is an open source advocate. She founded the Open Building Institute, co-founded Open Materials (do-it-yourself smart materials) and AltLab (Lisbon’s hackerspace). Previously, she co-chaired the Open Hardware Summit 2012, served on the board of directors of the Open Source Hardware Association, taught as an adjunct faculty member at ITP-NYU, and was a fellow of the National Science and Technology Foundation of Portugal. Catarina holds a Ph.D. in communication sciences and her research work focuses on the social impact of open and collaborative practices for the development of technologies. She is a founding member the Open Source Hardware Association and a TED fellow.

    Jeff Higdon – Facilitator for Infrastructure Building, and Heavy Machines

    Generalist, entrepreneur, teacher, off gridder, and “Mr. Fixit Man”. Jeff came across Open Source Ecology while taking Geoff Lawton’s permaculture design course and was bitten by the bug. Frustrated with overly complicated proprietary technology and repair manuals that say “take to a qualified technician”, he immediately saw the value in open source. Jeff brings to the table a broad depth of knowledge from his background working in and managing manufacturing and repair centers over the years and teaching vocational skills in a prison. Both at work and in his spare time he can generally be found building or fixing something using welding, fabrication, and team play.


    We can pick up participants who are arriving by plane at the Kansas City International Airport the evening before the first day of each month. Otherwise, you will have to find your own transportation. Due to COVID, we require proper safety precautions. We recommend vaccine shots, or if vaccination is not possible for medical, religious, or other reasons – we suggest masks, or other measures have to be negotiated to accommodate different levels of risk-tolerance in our Apprentices. Since we will be working in close quarters in a large group environment with close contact for many collaborative tasks – we are taking the responsibility to make sure that everyone is safe. We do not know how COVID will play out, so as we get closer to the event, we will report on updates regarding either tightening or loosening up restrictions. There may be quarantine restrictions for some countries – we are an international program – so please plan to make arrangements as needed. We will have the capacity to quarantine people on site, and will provide personal protective equipment and safety protocols as needed.


    We will have the HabLab — our shared-room dorm, and other accommodations – available for Apprentices. There is no extra cost for staying at the dorm and spots are filled on a “first come, first served” basis. Please note that this is a very rudimentary earth building and our accommodations are rough. The dorm rooms may be noisy due to late night conversations by participants. We are building 12 or more summer cabins, so we will have added capacity to house people in small private cabins (with internet but no bathroom/kitchen facilities) at a rate of $25 per night. If you are interested in this option, please inquire. Participants are also free to camp out in our designated camping area. RVs may be brought on site, and we plan to have 4 RV outlets at 30A 120V available. We are building both an outdoor kitchen and bathroom, with max capacity of serving 200 people. Factor e Farm is an experimental facility that is permanently under construction, so please gauge your expectations accordingly. If you want a more comfortable stay, we recommend that you stay in a hotel. Participants may secure a hotel in Cameron, Missouri (15 miles away) if there is no suitable space on site. Please note that there is no public transportation between Cameron and Factor e Farm and that we cannot pick you up or drop you off on a daily basis during the workshop. Car rentals are available at the KCI airport. We also have primitive camping on site which includes a composting toilet.


    The nearest airport is Kansas City International (MCI), about 1:15 hours away from Factor e Farm. FeF is located in a rural zone and there is no public transportation of any kind in the immediate area,though buses do arrive in St. Joseph, Cameron, and a train station is found in Kansas City.
    If you are driving, please schedule your arrival on site at 6 PM or later on the evening one day before the start date of the Summer X month of your interest. Please schedule your departure on the day after the Camp if you need a ride to the airport.

    We are scheduling airport pickup at 8 PM on the evening before the first day of the workshop each month. We are scheduling an airport dropoff in the morning after the last day of each Summer X month. Airport dropoff will be as early as needed for the first flight, so plan accordingly. Car rentals are available at the KCI airport, if you’d rather not wait for pick up or dropoff.

    Since the round trip to the airport is 2:30 hours, ideally we would like to make only one trip to the airport at the times above. The MCI airport is small and there isn’t much to do there, but it has a few restaurants/cafes and quiet areas to rest. We will also try to coordinate transportation if any people arriving by car are willing to pick others up from the airport.

    To the extent that it’s possible, we request that you try to schedule your flight arrival and departure as above to make logistics smoother.


    OSE will provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We will have a person preparing meals in the kitchen and on the outdoor grill. We are not growing produce at this time, so we will go to the supermarket for supplies. Our cook will coordinate the menu with participants.

    If you need additional food, Cameron, Missouri, is 15 miles away and has a food store and a Walmart. There is also a small grocery store in Maysville, which is 2.5 miles away.

    What to Pack

    You are welcome to bring your own tools if you wish to. But we will have all the necessary tools on site—as well as work gloves, protective eyewear, and hard hats.

    Please bring steel-toe boots – as we may be working with heavy metal objects. Steel toed boots are the safest footwear for any workshop. Steel toed boots are required for safety in the workshop, and people without steel toed boots are not allowed in the workshop.

    This being Missouri, the weather is highly unpredictable. It is likely to be hot. It can also get quite muddy when it rains, so sturdy boots are recommended. Note that the first frost date is October 20 – so bring warm clothes.

    Please also bring a sleeping bag and a bath towel if you’re staying in the HabLab, we have fitted sheets, pillows and pillow cases available – but you may want to bring your own pillow if that’s something that is important to you. If you’re camping, please pack everything you’d normally pack for a camping trip.


    Registration for the on-site program requires a video of interest, as the first step. To apply, send us a video of interest – telling us 3 things – who you are – why you are interested in the 6 month program – and how this contributes to your life’s goals. We will respond as soon as we receive your video, and continue with an interview. Simply make your video, upload to a video sharing site, and fill out our OSE Apprenticeship Form with your name and link to your video of interest.

    The payment scale for the 6 month program is from $6500 to $11,995 for the tuition, which includes room and board for the 6 months. Depending on the financial condition of the student. Full tuition is $11,995. Deep discount is $6500, for those who cannot afford the full tuition. Note that the full tuition option has a generous 2-for-1 option – attend and bring a partner with you for free.

    We can also offer another loan option – with near-free tuition of $1200 for the 6 months, where the rest ($5300 towards the discounted tuition) is considered a loan which must be repaid after the Apprenticeship. This option can be completed by staying on site to work with OSE, or it can be remote – where specifics are determined on a case-by-case basis. All of our financing options require a serious commitment of the Apprentice towards successful completion – and engagement in the open source product development process with OSE afterwards.

    The remote option does not require a Video of Interest. Early Bird discount is until midnight, May 31, 2021, after which the price goes up by $50.

  • 6 Month Apprenticeship – On Site – Full Tuition: Full tuition. Includes room, and board + one D3D Universal 3D Printer – on site – is US$11,995. The full tuition option allows you to can bring a parter with you for free.
  • 6 Month Apprenticeship – On Site – Reduced Tuition. : We have a reduced rate option. Tuition fee includes room and board, and your own D3D Universal 3D printer – in site – is $6,500. This applies to lower-income indididuals who would like to participate but are not in a good financial position to do so.
  • 6 Month Apprenticeship – On Site – Near-Free Tuition. : The tuition includes room and board, and your own D3D Universal 3D printer – on site – and costs $1200 to join. However, this counts as a loan for the remainder of $5300 which must be repaid after successful completion of the apprenticeship – and requires you to stay on site and work with OSE until your loan is repaid. Ask us about this option.
  • Remote option. Participate from remote for $499/month, where you can join the design training, design practice sessions, Enterprise evening sessions, and global collaboration days – so you would participate 5 days per week for ample design/CAD practice with the OSE design language and part libraries. See How It Works for more info.
  • Donate to OSESponsor another participant or Donate to OSE: We are a nonprofit organization with 501(c)3 status, and you can make tax-deductible contributions to us. You can fund attendance of someone who is on the waiting list for financial assistance. We receive low-income assistance requests for all of our workshops. Sponsor by paying the quantity on the order form below. Please email us at info@opensourceecology.org that you are sponsoring someone else. We can send you a tax deduction receipt (US customers only). You can also donate via BitCoin:
  • Bitcoin Address: ”’166yC48RakrZdtsBj36vY9q29CpzknHbxY”’

    Payment Options: PayPal, Check, eCheck Bitcoin, Money Order, or Wire Transfer

    To register, we use Eventzilla (below) – which accepts PayPal or eCheck options. Using the eCheck option (bank routing + account number) avoids the 3% PayPal fee. To avoid fees, you can send payment (paper check, etc.) to Open Source Ecology, 909 SW Willow Rd, Maysville, MO 64469. We can also accept Bitcoin and wire transfers. Email us at info at opensourceecology.org for additional instructions.

    All sales are final, as we are making significant material purchases and incurring logistics expenses in preparation for the Apprenticeship. In case of the unlikely events such as weather, disease, or civil unrest, we plan to postpone the event until a more favorable date. If a schedule conflict arises for you, you are welcome to come at a later date.


    Have questions? Drop us an email: info-at-opensourceecology-dot-org


    What are the realistic expectations for me making a living working with OSE full time after completing the Apprenticeship? They are very high. We do not believe that we will be short of customers for the Seed Eco-Home 2- nor for 3D printers, tractors, CEB Presses, and other machines. This means that we expect to grow the operation significantly starting this year, with work opportunities for trained apprenices at competitive earnings. However, we are not making any guarantees regarding hiring anyone – we are looking to create entrepreneurial partnerships with graduating apprentices as we collaborate and assist each other in co-creating entrepreneurial ventures around house building and open source product development. But we do not want to send our graduates away – we’d like them to work closely with OSE – either as entrepreneurs in residence at our facility, or working in other collaborative ventures. The whole point is to collaborate and innovate on an open source, collaborative product development ecosustem where all our knowhow is published openly.

    Great, but the last question is all handwaving. What are some specific numbers? Glad you asked. A typical business does 50/50 revenue share between paying workers and operations. Say that business is OSE. Yere are the numbers: 1000 hours for  a Seed Eco-Home built in 1 week with 24 people. (this is an extreme feat that we are developing towards replicability). No free lunch here. This s___ is hard – and it’s why we’re doing this immersion training, as so far nobody we know knows how to do this, and we’ve seen professional contractors telling us to go to hell because our modular builds will never work (complete closed-mindedness) even though we already proved that it can be done.  1000 hours wit 24 people for $50k revenue (doesn’t include materials, for which the homeowner client pays). $25k to OSE, $1k for that week per worker means $25/hr for workers. That is just builders. Some people may be managers. Some may be executives. This is all handwaving until we actually do it – but that is the figures we are working with. Pending efficiency improvement of learning build flow, we can definitely see 500 hours per build – not assuming extensive automation. Meaning $50/hr per builder. This would mean ‘highly skilled work’ – as in ‘Housing 2.0’ – meaning one has higher knowledge but can have lower manual skills than ‘craftspeople’ – where the new craft comes from smarter design, not higher ‘craftsmanship’. Ie – those items consistent with the OSE Social Contract. This is what we are developing, and this is what we will be teaching during the Enterprise Seminar part of the Apprenticeship.

    Here’s my reservation about focusing on the $50,000, 1000 square foot house. If that is the only thing I’m working on  I’m essentially only working for people who have more than 50,000 dollars, and leaves behind a lot of people that might otherwise be on board if you could demonstrate the process and philosophy with smaller models. What gives? Our goal is to solve housing, and that means housing for the masses. We believe that 1000 sf is a minimum that an average family would accept as a starter home – and thus we chose this as the size with a large market size. We are referring to the need of hundreds of thousands to millions of people in the USA alone. The market for a tiny house is much smaller – in fact about 1000 times smaller. So if our goal is to solve housing, building tiny homes would not meet this requirement, as it applies to a very small population. There is a reason for that – which we can attest to personally: people need privacy and space to be comfortable. Personally, we started with a 144 square foot microhouse, and that quickly turned out to be unlivable for a couple. Fine for a man cave, but not more. So we expanded the house to another 144 square feet, then added another 800 square feet. That is not to say that we could or should not build smaller homes – we certainly can if an opportunity exists – but we should not try to build a scalable enterprise around that. In fact, the Seed Eco-Home is typically built from 256 sq ft subunits. Thus, it is foreseeable that one can build a 256 or 512 sq ft home for around $15-25k easily. The question of code compliance arises, however, as many jurisdictions may have minimum house size requirements. Furthermore, if we talk about housing in the developing world – much smaller homes at much lower cost may be a great option for solving housing. So the short answer is: we absolutely can build smaller at lower cost, with the caveats as mentioned.

    If I want to take the remote option ($499/month), and then add parts of the Summer X program on site, what would the cost be? The cost would be the sum of the remote option – plus the price of the Summer X workshops as discussed under the registration for Summer X. The OSE Apprenticeship remote option and onsite activities are considered separately in this case. The cost of Summer X would be the same as anyone else, as you participating in the workshop means that somebody else isn’t.

    Does the remote option include the 3D printer? No, you’d have to get the D3D Universal 3D printer separetely here.

    What are the risks of OSE not growing as expected? As a highly innovative enterprise, the risks are significant – though we have been in operation since 2004. Since then, we have established a name and following as one of the most cutting edge, longest-lived, open hardware enterprises in the world. And we feel that this is really just the beginning – as our foundation is now solid – with several product releases already and ambitious plans for doubling our operation every year. At the same time – the risk inolves the main challenge of any business: marketing and sales – and production – as we develop physical products. To address marketing, we will be developing marketing websites, and creating effective marketing processes. We have one of the world’s top 10 marketing experts advising and following our progress closely as a mentor. To address production – ie, qualified workers – that is one of the main reasons that we are starting the apprenticeship: to have a solid pool of diversely-skilled individuals who can build things and contribute to further product development. That’s why the core of the apprenticeship is hundreds of hours of design training, so the the pool of solid, available, open source products grows to the point that distributed market substitution occurs for many products. The markets are large – the challenge is training sufficient numbers of open source product developers to make the dream of open hardware a reality.

    Why are you training more builders? There are plenty of builders out there. We are training much more than builders – we’re training our village builders to be movement entrepreneurs. The skill set that we provide is typically learned over many years – yet we are providing a 6 month rapid learning experience of diverse practical skills. But much more than skill set – we are teaching a mindset – of open collaboration – to collaborate in unprecedented ways. We have not seen the type of open hardware, global, large-scale collaboration training offered anywhere else – and that’s why we created our program. We are building a new culture.

    Can I start my own business with one of your machines after I complete the Apprenticeship with you? Absolutely – we completely encourage that. Our aim is that in the program, we make it clear to you that working as a collaborative effort – where you collaborate on a common roadmap with OSE and push all your developments back into the commons – is the way to make products better-faster-stronger – as opposed to competing. This implies that after you finish, you will collaborate with OSE in development – as a partner and collaborator – not a competitor.

    Is remote participation available? You can participate in the Design Training and Enterprise Seminar remotely – but you will miss all of the hands on builds. This is available as a remote participation option.

    We live in Europe, and are very worried about the possibility that COVID will make travel impossible. Can you please lay out the alternatives in the event that the pandemic makes it impossible for us attend? In case someone cannot attend the program for various contingencies, such as the pandemic, family or work reasons, etc – they are welcome to attend at a later date. We are accepting candidates on a rolling basis, as we are making the Apprenticeship one of our ongoing programs.

    I want to attend with my partner. Do you have a discount for a pair? Yes, we can offer a 2-for-one discount for the second person on your team at the regular tuition.

    I am fairly confident that I would like to collaborate with OSE on site after the Apprenticeship ends on December 22. Is this possible? We would like graduates to collaborate on site with us. So if you complete the program successfully, you will be welcome to collaborate with us on site. See Point 2 under How It Works above.

    What does it mean to graduate or complete the program successfully? You will get several OSE Badges of recognition, starting with the FreeCAD Badge prior to entering the program, and other badges that represent specifically-documented skill. All badges require a documented performance, typically published on the internet in video form – for both computer work and physical tasks. Most badges also require a written test – documented on our wiki as well – that test not just the performance (which demonstrates physical ability and proper sequencing of steps) – but comprehension of design choices and how things work. Badges are granular, and given for specific products. Such as – how to design a Power Cube or Universal Axis, or how to build one of the modules for the Seed Eco-Home. The reason for badges is to provide an easily-recognizable proof-of-skill-set that assists in role allocation for collaborative work. See OSE Apprenticeship Badges.

    I want to produce OSE Seed Eco-Homes and machines independently, and I can’t make it to your Apprenticeship. Is this possible? Yes, we’re open source. And, as long as you are open to contributing your improvements back into the commons, and have the skills, you can get certified to produce under the OSE label – effectively becoming part of the OSE effort. Otherwise, you are completely free to use our designs but not our brand.

    Can I do any of the training remotely? The real question is – can you pick up the necessary design and build skills remotely? The design and enterprise sessions can be done remotely, and you can even learn to collaborate effectively from remote – but the question remains how you get the practical skills. The hands-on skills that you will need are critical – as our revenue model involves real house builds. You don’t need to be here for the whole time. We care about you getting the hands-on skills – ie, if you can pass the hands-on build part of our certification. How you get there is up to you. So it depends on what skills you already have, and what skills you will pick up when you are on site – as determined by how fast you learn. If you have good hands-on skills of body awareness and dexterity that allows you to handle tools and work effectively already, then you will not need to spend the full 6 months on site. If you have limited hands-on skills, it would be best if you spend the full 6 months on site. We are open to negotiate what fraction of time you spend with us on site. Also, the more skills you gain in our program, the higher your revenue potential. It all depends on your existing skills, rate of learning, and clarity of vision to set goals and ambitions. The original intent if for you to spend full-time learning on site – because you just can’t get the type of integrated skill set anywhere else in such a short time. But if you think you already have significant skills and can manage with a part of the time remotely, we can support you in this. Your tuition is the same in both cases.

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